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Charles IvesOrchestral Set no. 2 Charles Ives Selected songs from 114 Songs arranged for orchestra by Georg-Friedrich Haas (world premiere commissioned by the MCO) Charles Ives Selected songs from 114 Songs arranged for orchestra by Toshio Hosokawa (world premiere commissioned by the MCO) Charles Ives Selected songs from 114 Songs arranged for orchestra by John Adams Charles Ives Symphony no. 2 ConductorKent Nagano / Conductor offstage orchestra Benjamin Bayl / SopranoChen Reiss / BaritoneThomas Hampson
The focus of this concert is Charles Ives, one of the most innovative composers of the 20th century. Ives is now recognized as one of the classics of 20th-century music and a key figure in the development of a specifically American music tradition.
The two rarely-heard orchestra works Orchestral Set No. 2 and the Symphony No. 2 will frame the programme, at the heart of which are 15 songs from Ives's 114 Songs, originally composed for singer and piano accompaniment. John Adams chose five songs from this collection and arranged them for orchestra. His cycle will be complemented by even more recent arrangements: the MCO has commissioned Toshio Hosokawa and Georg Friedrich Haas, two of the most acclaimed composers of the present time, to choose five songs each from the collection and arrange them for orchestra. The centerpiece of the programme is thus an illumination and reflection of Charles Ives's music from the perspective of three different song cycles.
The programme was premiered on 31 August as the opening concert of the Musikfest Berlin at the Berlin Philharmonie.